Starfield character creation: Best traits & backgrounds explained
All of the options to get your space voyager looking ship-shape.
Starfield character creation is an integral part of the Bethesda RPG experience. With so many choices though, it can be a little overwhelming what design to go for. Then you have traits and backgrounds, both of which influence gameplay. Lots to think about.
Now available across Xbox Series X/S and Microsoft Windows, Starfield has a treasure trove of planets to explore. In fact, there are upwards of 1,000 planets across 100 solar systems. Before jumping in your own spaceship and jetting off into the galaxy, the first course of action is designing what your adventurer looks like.
Just like Skyrim and Fallout, Starfield's character creator is extensive. If you want to be tall and muscly, you can. If you want to be small and overweight, you can. If you want blue hair, a massive chin and a particular walk – you got it, it's there!
To help make things clearer, we've listed out all of Starfield's character customisation options, including what we would recommend to get the best experience.
Starfield character creation explained
One of the earliest decisions in Starfield surrounds your character's customisation. Should I have short hair? Should I have long hair? How about a purple beard? These are the choices that are thrust upon you in the opening hour.
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There are five character customisation options: Biometric ID, Body, Face, Background and Traits.
The good news is that Starfield doesn't force you to stick with your character design for the entirety of the game if you don't want to. There are several Enhance stores located across the Settled Systems, with one even found on New Atlantis on Jemison - near to where you first land.
It costs 500 credits and lets you redo your appearance altogether, except for your Background and Traits. Those two directly impact gameplay and cannot be changed once selected at the start.
Biometric ID is the first option presented in Starfield. This is essentially the character's template, with 40 preset options to pick from, hopefully giving you an idea of where to begin.
"You start your character journey as though you're cycling through employee records," said Bethesda lead animator Rick Vicens as part of the Starfield Direct.
That's the best way to think of it, with the rest of the options used to add originality to your character.
The second character customisation is Body. This is split into four sections: Body Shape, Body Type, Walk Style and Skin Tone. There are upwards of 100 different options to choose from, with Muscular, Thin and Heavy represented as the three main key traits.
The Face setting has over 30 individual options to choose from. This is the final section that determines your Starfield character's appearance. See below for the full list:
- Skin Tone
- Head Shapes
- Hair Colour
- Facial Hair
- Facial Hair Colour
- Eye Colour
- Jewellery Colour
Background is a little different, with three separate skills assigned depending on which one you pick.
For instance, the Cyber Runner has Stealth, Security and Theft, whereas the Long Hauler has Weight Lifting, Piloting and Ballistic Weapon Systems.
It's only a starting point, as every skill can be unlocked in Starfield regardless of which background you choose, but it does give some more personalised conversations with NPCs. The full list of background choices is as below:
- Beast Hunter
- Bounty Hunter
- Combat Medic
- Cyber Runner
- File Not Found
- Long Hauler
- Space Scoundrel
Read more on Starfield:
- Starfield missions list - how far are you?
- Starfield tips and tricks - how to get started
- Starfield romance - all potential relationships
- Starfield character creation - all your options explained
- Starfield digipick - how to lockpick
- How long is Starfield? The hours you'll need
- Will Starfield ever come to PS5? Developer comments
- Starfield cast - all voice actors
- Starfield companions - who to recruit
- Starfield soundtrack - how to listen
- Starfield storage guide - don't be overburdened
- Starfield FOV - change your point of view
- Starfield FPS - developers explain 30fps
- Starfield PC requirements - specs needed
- Starfield performance - potential fixes
- Starfield factions - all possible groups
The final customisation option is Traits, granting you two passive effects: one positive and one negative.
Three different Traits can be selected, or none at all; they're completely optional. It can help bring up additional dialogue options, influencing the story in small ways. See below for the full list of Traits:
- Alien DNA
- Dream Home
- Freestar Collective Settler
- Hero Worshipped
- Kid Stuff
- Neon Street Rat
- Raised Enlightened
- Raised Universal
- Serpent’s Embrace
- Terra Firma
- United Colonies Native
- Unwanted Hero
What are the best traits in Starfield?
The best traits in Starfield are up for debate, but we were a big fan of Alien DNA, which grants increased health and oxygen. While it does mean that healing items and food aren't as effective, it helps give us a leg up going into combat situations and general sprinting.
Empath is another useful Trait, as it provides a temporary increase when in combat and if you perform an act that your companion likes. Again, the same negative effect can happen if you do something that will upset them - but for the most part, this gives an added boost in more tough situations.
From a story perspective, Kid Stuff is an interesting one, as it literally gives you parents. These can be visited at their home any time, but you'll have to help them out by sending two per cent of your credits home every week. Surely Mum and Dad are worth it though, right?
Finally, the Hero Worshipped is an obvious fun choice, as it brings about Bethesda's infamous NPC, the Adoring Fan. By picking this, the Adoring Fan will be available to recruit as a crew member, often providing gifts to show his admiration. But be warned: he's quite annoying.
What are the best backgrounds in Starfield?
When it comes to the best backgrounds, we'd recommend opting for Industrialist if you want to have a bit more sway in conversational persuading situations. There are numerous situations throughout Starfield that can be solved in conversation rather than a firefight. If you prefer to solve problems with words rather than actions, this might be the way to go.
On the other hand, if you're planning to play the game as a straight-up action shooter, we'd say go for the Beast Hunter background. It's especially useful for taking on alien creatures and subsequently harvesting their resources.
Space Scoundrel is another we were particularly fond of, offering experience in Pistol Certification, Piloting and Persuasion. All handy throughout Starfield. It's essentially the Han Solo of traits, so you can't go wrong.
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